Matt Painter isn’t going to take any opponent lightly in March Madness after how it’s been for Purdue in the past.

At a press conference on Saturday, a reporter asked Painter a question about the team’s mentality and was confident that the Boilermakers would win the Utah State game handily. This made Painter give the reporter a funny look as the coach explained why you can’t sleep on any teams in March.

“Alright, let me explain something to you. Everybody in the NCAA Tournament is really good. Now when you go to 32 (teams), everybody is that much better,” Painter said. “They’re a really, really good basketball team. They are well-coached. This is gonna be a dogfight. We’ve had a lot of experience here and we’ve had some disappointing days. There’s no way we are looking past these guys.”

Painter refused to downplay the Aggies’ win over TCU either. He credited TCU and complimented the Horned Frogs on their toughness.

“These guys are real. If you watch that game from TCU. TCU is tough-nosed, they’re well coached. TCU’s got big-time players. They beat quality teams in the Big 12,” Painter said. “They handled them. We know this is gonna be really difficult. They have a great point guard, they have a great big, and they’ve got a bunch of other dudes that can really play.”

March not kind to Boilermakers

Painter has been at the helm for Purdue’s most recent shortcomings in March, which includes more than just last season. That was the most disastrous outcome as the Boilermakers were upset in the 1st round by 16-seed Fairleigh Dickinson in 2023.

Purdue exited the 2022 NCAA Tournament in the Sweet 16 thanks to Saint Peters, a 15-seed on a magical run. Jaden Ivey heaved a 3-pointer at the basket which didn’t land as the Boilermakers tried to tie the game with 1 second left on the clock.

Painter’s team suffered another disappointing result in 2021, losing to 13-seed North Texas in overtime. That game was tied at 61 at the end of regulation and Purdue scored only 8 points in the 5-minute period.

A few years before that, Purdue left the tournament early at the hands of 12-seed Arkansas Little Rock in the 2016 NCAA Tournament. Fans had to watch 2 halves and a pair of overtimes before that game wrapped up.

After all the pain Purdue basketball has put its fans through, it’s safe to say that Painter understands how detrimental underestimating an opponent can be. Purdue faces Utah State with a chance to punch its ticket to the Sweet 16.

Tipoff will be Sunday at 2:40 p.m. ET on CBS. Be sure to track the latest odds and trends throughout March Madness with Tradition’s Ohio sportsbooks.